Cottonelle contest reaches families using puppy appeal

In the crowded bathroom tissue market, the growth that Kimberly-Clark's Cottonelle brand had achieved in recent years was the kind of momentum the company wanted to keep rolling.

In the crowded bathroom tissue market, the growth that Kimberly-Clark's Cottonelle brand had achieved in recent years was the kind of momentum the company wanted to keep rolling.

 It turned to Ketchum, which helped launch the brand's most extensive integrated campaign to date. "We wanted to bring to life the essence of really caring for a family, and focus our attention on building equity around the Cottonelle puppy," says Tessa McCann, senior account supervisor at Ketchum.

Strategy

"We wanted the puppy to allow us to talk about toilet paper, which is not an easy conversation to have with consumers," says Stu Schneider, associate marketing director for Cottonelle at Kimberly-Clark.

Recognizing the biggest asset in cutting through the cluttered market was the brand's iconic yellow Labrador, Ketchum formulated a songwriting contest for families and their dogs. The effort incorporated advertising, broadcast, and online components, with national and local market outreach.

Tactics

The contest asked consumers to write and perform a song about how much their dogs means to their families. Targeting the typical toilet tissue purchaser, 18- to 54-year-old women, Ketchum brought in Florence Henderson as a spokeswoman. Henderson kicked off the effort with a two-day interview tour in New York, always appearing with a yellow Labrador puppy that acted as a visual for engaging consumers with the brand. After picking 10 contest finalists, Kimberly-Clark allowed Web site visitors to vote for a winner, which was revealed in a People advertorial.

Results

The effort generated more than 121 million impressions and caused traffic at cottonelle.com to nearly triple to 175,000 visitors. For the 52 weeks ended in October, Cottonelle increased net sales 14.5%.

Future

Ketchum and Kimberly-Clark are planning a summer event that will include many similar elements.

PR team: Ketchum (Chicago) and Kimberly-Clark's Cottonelle brand (Neenah, WI)

Campaign: Tales of Best Friends and Family

Duration: Mid-July to late October 2005

Budget: $1 million

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